ScienceSouth is one of 10 informal education institutions in the nation to receive funding to attract more students to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
NASA announced approximately $7.7 million in grant awards on Tuesday, through NASA’s Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMPVC). ScienceSouth will receive $780,275. More than half of the ScienceSouth award will be used to upfit Francis Marion University’s Dooley Planetarium, which will host an ongoing series of programs for ScienceSouth. The remainder of the grant to ScienceSouth will be used to fund new outreach programming over the next three years.
“We congratulate ScienceSouth on this notable achievement and applaud the collaboration between the ScienceSouth staff and FMU faculty members in making the grant become a reality,” said FMU President Dr. Luther F. Carter.
The FMU Planetarium opened its doors in 1978. In 2000, with the passing of its first director, Ed Dooley, it was officially named, Dooley Planetarium. The upgrade will convert it from a Spitz 512 Projector System to an interactive, digital system, which will provide an enhanced viewing experience, making the data come alive with NASA feeds and showcasing research and careers in STEM, says Dr. Jeanette Myers, associate professor of astronomy and director of FMU’s Dooley Planetarium.
“We are still in shock and very excited that we were selected by NASA to receive this grant award,” says Myers. “We look forward to bringing NASA content to the citizens of the Pee Dee over the next three years.”
Sixty-seven proposals from institutions in 31 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, underwent a merit-based peer review process. NASA's Office of Education, agency mission directorates and support offices and JPL solicited and reviewed the grant applications.
For additional information concerning the grant, contact the Executive Director of ScienceSouth Stephen Welch at 843.679.5353, ext 307 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about Dooley Planetarium, contact Myers at 843.661.1441 or by email at email@example.com.